In a time of crisis—say, scary weather incoming or a missile attack—we expect to receive an emergency alert on our smart phones or scrolled along cable programs. But what if our streaming services, say Netflix or Spotify, could send us major warnings, too?
A bill called the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement, or READI, Act would implement just that. Senators in Hawaii and South Dakota introduced the measure to “explore” sending messages from the national emergency alert system to “online streaming services,” TechCrunch reports.
The bill would also allow emergency alerts to go out more than once, prevent the disabling of alerts on cellphones, and look into ways to minimize false alarms. The latter issue became apparent in the wake of a false alert sent to Hawaii residents in January that warned them, incorrectly, of an incoming “ballistic missile threat.”
If streaming platforms are going to be incorporated into the alert system, it’s unquestionable that there should be airtight regulations to avoid false alarms and spreading mass panic. Watching The Handmaid’s Tale is bleak enough without misfired security warnings interrupting the program.